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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  August 13, 2011 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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ber birth place of the white citizens counsel, you're swallowing some pretty heavy duty emotions on a day to day basis. >> join us as we review "the help." stay with cnn. "your money" starts right now. your job, your savings, uncertainty, everywhere in this economy. is it time to panic? i'm ali develop which i. welco velshi. welcome to "your money." a cnn orc poll finds 60% of americans believe this economy is still in a downturn and that conditions are getting worse. that must be has jumped by the way from 36% in april. economist peter mauricy is from the maryland school of business. the question our viewers want to
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know now is are we getting into another recession now? >> no. i submitted my forecast to the various polls last week and said no, the economy would grow faster in the second half, things will get better. are there perils? of course. >> those with money who don't need credit or who have the ability to get credit can really do well in this economy and those without jobs at the bottom, with tough credit, are excused for thinking that things are bad. >> absolutely. if you don't have a job, it is still a depression outside. or still a recession. we're not growing fast enough to help those people. to create the kinds of skwljobs need, we have to grow even higher. >> ken rogoff is a former chief economist for the imf, the world's leading expert on economic crises. we have got something going on in the world. is it recession? is it worse? >> i think it is pretty clear we have never escaped from the previous downturn.
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we're still living in the aftermath of it. it is slow and rocky. and there is some problems on the horizon in europe. i think the short-term probably is things are going to be moderate to slow growth. no question the risks have gone up, that it might turn negative again. >> peter, a cnn orc poll finds two-thirds of americans disapprove of how president obama is handling the economy. 34% approve. is there something that the president or congress for that matter, separately or together, can be doing to reassure americans either that the economy is on solid ground or that they are taking action? there have been all these calls while the markets have been gyrating for the government to do something about it. most people want the government out of their lives until things go wrong. what can the government do or say? >> we need to look at some places where we can stimulate the private sector, unleash all the cash. businesses are complaining about regulatory burdens.
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maybe we need to talk about smaller rell lags thgulation. i think of drilling for domestic oil and gas. if we get that going, that's like a private sector infrastructure project. it is privately -- that's the same stuff that goes into roads. cement, steal, all the rest. let's look at how we can do that but not so onerously. >> we aren't sure where the economy is going. last week on this show, you said that the market is looking for leadership from washington. we have heard peter's view of what that might be. some ideas from you, specific policies that would provide the ignition to get the economy moving again. >> well, assuming washington could get its act together to do anything after the paralysis of the debt debacle, i think i would start with trying to find a way to address the household
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mortgage problem which is still with us. it is still not only hurting consumption, it is making it hard for people to move, to take other jobs. there are a lot of ideas out there to try to bring down some of the worst mortgage problems. second, i do think the federal reserve could do more. it cannot carry the whole burden on its shoulders, but i think some moderate inflation if it pushed for that, would be helpful. then, yes, as peter said, there are all kinds of structural reforms. i think one of the big mistakes in the great depression of the '30s was the government went crazy. and was putting on all kinds of new regulations, trying this and that. i think it is very good to take an overview of how to pull the government role back to where it should be and try to keep the private sector not stalled on that account. >> all right, peter, it has got to be effective. one of the complaints about the stimulus in 2008 is it was big, was big, may not have been as
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targeted or effective. how do you do that? you take the time to say this is effective, how do you make sure there is enough money. there seems to be a hunger for a solution that is large, whether deregulation or stimulus or depending what side of the spectrum you're on there needs to be some big recognition, not small programs, but big ones. >> let's look at energy. suppose we make it a policy to build out the natural gas pipeline across the united states, to make better use of the east coast reserves and to say replace 1 million or 2 million barrels a day of imported oil. the oil companies have a great deal of resources at their disposal. what is it going to take that we can be safe so you can get driting soon and implementing the programs quickly. there aren't all these checks and balances with regard to the misuse of government money. that's a good example.
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in the mortgage area, why not make the people that hold the mortgages partners with the homeowners. say, you know, all right, this house is 25% underwater, lower the payment on the basis of it now being 75% of its capital value, but when it is sold, you'll get 25%. that would put cash in their pockets and get money moving again. >> great ideas, guys. thank you very much. peter morici, a pleasure to have you on the show. ken, stick around for a mud. i want to ask whether europe's debt crisis is the most imminent threat to our economy right now. [ male announcer ] this is the network. a network of possibilities.
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greece's debt. it spread to italy and spain. this week, rumors that france's aaa credit rating could be downgraded wreaked havoc in our markets. richard quest is here. we have our own debt crisis here in america. i don't know why you feel the need to pile on. why did we see u.s. markets react so positively to news that france, italy, spain and belgium had placed this temporary ban on short selling of financial instruments, financial stocks, which is something that amounts to a bet against the stock's performance. why did that make such a big difference? >> i wouldn't say it was one any individual aspect. you got to take the market in its totality at the moment. that's an unease about what is taking place in europe, both in the debt crisis in the united states, and with the deficit. so anything at all like, for example, the banning of short selling or the reaffirmation of
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a aaa rating for france or saying they're not in financial trouble, anything at all that soothes the markets' nerves at this particular point, ali is what is really moving the market. >> ken r ogoff from harvard. we talk about the rise of asia and the slowdown that some of asia is experiencing. we think our economic fortunes are tied to that. really the last month or so indicated to us we are much more tied to europe than we probably actually thought. is europe and its problems a real threat to us here in america? >> i don't think there is any question that in the immediate future what takes place in europe is the dominant risk to the global economy. it affects our banks. there is a chance the euro will break up, all sorts of financial casts. i know you've been following the riots in london. just think about if that went on in france and greece and italy that they're having owe staaust
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and recession. europe is a bigger economy than the united states. s that >> i want to bring in christine romens, host of cnn's "your bottom line." we have been following the riots closely. and you've definitely -- you and others have suggested that some of it is hooliganism but some of it might be accommodated by this economic environment where people don't have all the jobs they want, where there is some austerity. >> you have to wonder about what kind of influence that plays. you know economists, they look at 10% plus unemployment, it is a magic number and ken can tell you more about this than i can, but one of those magic numbers where you worry about social cohesion. one of the things a lost people are talking about is when you have a generation and two generations of people who feel like they don't have any opportunity, then what happens? you look at the -- many of the young people in the streets,
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this vigorous discussion about these kids aren't in the labor market anyway. what are they mad about? >> social cohesion is interesting. in philadelphia, we got the mayor clamping down on kids who are having flash mobs in the street. richard, you're in london. what is your sense having -- you've been in greece for the riots there and for the austerity plan that was implemented there. what is your sense of that side of things? this isn't just an economic ivory tour conversation. >> no, it is not. what took place in the uk and has taken place over recent days has far more to do with criminality than social deprivation. the prime minister did allude to that in his house of commons speech when he talked about whether society is broken. in athens, you saw protesters in the square and making their feelings felt who were then hijacked by thugs and hooligans.
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in britain, it was much quicker. the thugs and hooligans pretty much came from day one. there was very little you could hang your hat on here and say this was about social deprivation. >> we have seen a whole bunch of commodities sway around with the stock market. one thing we saw as we saw a drop in oil prices, we have seen a bit of a pickup at the end. i want to talk about that. when we talk about an economy on the precipice of going back into a recession, oil prices are so central to this entire discussion. what are your thoughts? >> well, that's absolutely right. of course we're talking about europe and the united states growing slowly, but not emerging markets. if you go to asia, they're slowing. still very fast. the countries in latin america enjoying the fruits of exporting, brazil, chile, they're doing great. you would never know there was a recession there. they're demanding a lot of energy and in the middle east
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and it is kicking up the prices for everybody. there is no question that the falling oil prices reflect a concern that a big part of world demand could be fading. >> christine, what are we -- let's come back to markets here in the united states. we're certainly not going to get into the business of predicting. >> no way, other than predicting there will be volatility. let's think back to the times that you've seen this kind of volatility in the markets. this is probably your third round of this, if not more. we have to get used to the fact that this might be with us for a little while. >> there is a new element here. the book, this time we have computerized trading, we have very fast speculation in the market, we have a lot of money that can be deployed very, very quickly. it is a different kind of fundamental structure of the way markets trade and interact today than it was in 1987. that's one thing i've been talking to a lot of people working in the markets trying to
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figure out does it feel different? >> 1987, we were still panicking and selling stocks. here we could be selling stocks because the computer decided there has been so much momentum in the market. >> no, no, no, no. hang on a second. you're forgetting '87. there was computer trading. there was program trades and it was program trading -- >> that drove it down 22%. >> that sent the cash and the future markets different. the difference between now and '87 is the computers are faster, super fast transactions are taking place. >> high frequency trading. >> i had frequency. >> we didn't even have that phrase in '87. >> it has an effect on the relationship between different asset classes and it definitely affects how the big players with access to all this technology can do well versus small savers and smaller players who don't have these resources.
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but volatility always has been really high in the stock market. i don't think it is particularly high this decade, but, of course, the last week has just bp cra been crazy. >> ken and when he's saying it is crazy, run for the hills. ken from harvard, great to see you. richard, always a pleasure. sad to see you across the pond. we enjoyed having you here in the united states. christine, you stay with us. america needs jobs. brand-new republican presidential kept rick perry says look no further than his record as the governor of texas. we'll do that, breaking down rick perry's economic record with candy crowley next. i love that my daughter's part fish.
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[ male announcer ] time to check your air conditioning? come to meineke now and get a free ac system check and a free cooler with paid ac service. meineke. we have the coolest customers. the republican primary race just got a little more interesting with texas governor rick perry jumping in this weekend. a look now at governor perry's economic record in texas. the texas gdp is expected to grow 3.7% this year, growth last
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year was in line overall with the u.s. economy. texas definitely stronger than the national economy. let's talk about unemployment. texas unemployment stands at 8.2%. nearly a full percentage point lower than the national average. here is the interesting part. since the recession ended, texas added about 265,000 jobs. that's a huge chunk of the total of some 700,000 jobs created nationwide since the end of the recession in june of 2009. texas also has the highest percentage of workers making minimum wage and the highest percentage of workers working without health insurance. that's interesting since perry wants texas to opt out of medicare and is proposed that states be allowed to opt out of social security. candy crowley is the anchor of "state of the union" every sunday morning on cnn. she joins me from iowa. thank you for joining us. the polls say president obama is weak on the economy, rick perry is going to run on the fact that
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he's strung on the economy. how is this going to play with conservatives, with independents, for whom the major issue right now is the economy? >> sure. well, it is going to play well with conservatives who are already ready to welcome rick perry into the race. though he's got competition here for the hearts of the conservatives. he'll be popular among them. the independents are something different because he is quite conservative both socially and fiscally. i think you will see the white house tv you'll see the real action campaign go after perry on the thing you mentioned at the end, the highest percent annual of minimum wage workers, the highest percentage of people without health care. he's arguing he wants to opt out of perhaps social security or medicare because he could create a better program, a less expensive program inside the state. they'll also argue this is an
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oil state. and that that in part certainly does help with the employment issue. so the great thing about having a record is you can run on it. the bad thing about having a record is that other people can run against it. the independents, if they're looking for someone in the middle, that's not rick perry. this is a right of center candidate. >> he's going to challenge mitt romney for the top spot in the nomination bid. rick perry and mitt romney have been executives of a state. romney brings the business back ground, rick perry, success on the ground. tell me how this likely plays out. >> well, in the near term, really what rick perry has to go after and certainly the group of republicans that he is going after, those that are supporting michele bachmann, this is, again, a candidate who comes in from the right. there is going to be mitt romney
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in the race and not mitt romney in the race. and the seat that is open is the not mitt romney. his sights initially are going to be set at michele bachmann. she knows that and has taken shots at him. i'm reminding you that people like their politicians the best when they're not running for anything. rick perry looks great now. let's remember fred thompson. waited until august or september to come in and he collapsed. >> candy, one more thing for us to look at. it is going to be an exciting run until the election. candy at the iowa state fair now in iowa. one week ago, s&p downgraded america's credit rating so why are so investors behaving as if the u.s. is a safer bet as ever. s and now you want to try the real deal. yes, is it true that name your own price... ...got even easier? affirmative. we'll show you other people's winning hotel bids.
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welcome back. a loot lot of comparisens are being made with the volatility in the stock markets and 2008. very different situation though
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for the time being. back in 2008, we had a credit crisis. individuals and companies were overextended. they were relying heavily on borrowing. and then when banks couldn't lend the money and there was an international credit freeze, it really put a halt on business. here we have a different situation. we have people and companies saving their money. governments having overextended themselve and getting into trouble. let me show you the personal savings rate. i'll compare it today to that back in 2007. 5.4% today. only 2.1% back then. now, the 5.4% may not seem like a lot to you now, but it is holding this economy back because folks aren't spending. muhammad al arain is the ceo of pimco. he keeps his eye on spending, on debts, on bonds. what is it that has to happen to
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get these economic engines going and convince investors there is growth in the united states and in global economys? >> thank you for having me. you have over here companies, multinationals with a ton of cash but unwilling to engage in the global economy. over here you have governments with very heavy debt. the hope is that this sector here pulls up this sector. the reality is that this sector is pulling down the healthy p t part. why? because neither companies nor households are seeing the sorts of policy action that are required in this type of global crisis. >> we would love to know what you think because you watch the this so closely. what is the policy action that might trigger that group over there, the companies, to engage, to invest their money, tofactor
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>> when you see a system collapse, like is happening now, it is because it is structurally weak. think of a mound of sand on the beach. you can collapse it with a few grains of stand. why? because it is structurally week. they see a labor market not fufrpgsi i functioning properly. the debt debauch untcle in wash was very, very harmful. they see a labor market that is not functioning, a housing market that is not functioning. they have questions about finance and they see no comprehensive policy response at the national level let alone coordinations across borders. so the business men are saying, you know what, i'm going to wait until the environment gets less risky. >> if you recall in 2008, we had international efforts, we had some global sense of what is
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going on. now everybody seems to be in this row boat for themselves. since the downturn, the recession, people were told save your money, have stuff available. businesses were told the same thing. as muhammad said, businesses took that lesson and so did consumers. now everybody is holding on to their money. what do you tell people? >> the companies that are going to weather this most recent part of the storm are the ones with a lot of money. they have a lot of money in the bank because they're not confident yet. how do you buy confidence to allow people to get out there and spend a little of the saved money. the only coherent policy prescription we have seen is the fed. and now we know that is going to last until the year 2013. >> can you imagine the fed, ben bernanke, telling us when -- the
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expiration date. you had to watch it in the market later. is the fed, the only one with a coherent plan here. is it good enough or do the markets and you and others want to see more of the fed? >> it was unthinkable that the fed would commit to a date and a level. it is one of the many unthinkables. will it be enough? no. there is two issues here. one is there is a difference between willingness and effectiveness. the fed is willing to do a lot. it is the home game in town and they stepped up to the plate risking their reputation. but they don't have effective enough policy instruments. they are boxing with one hand tied behind their back. the second issue is the fed cannot compensate for failures elsewhere in washington, d.c. the other economic agencies are
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asleep at the wheel. we haven't heard anything from them. i congrat the fit, but be careful, it cannot carry all the burden. >> while many people were saying this would mean higher interest rates, you did point out that maybe it will, maybe it won't. when the s&p downgraded the united states credit rating, the assumption by many was that u.s. treasuries would take a hit. interest rates would go up. it would cost the u.s. more money to borrow money. it had the opposite reaction. why is that. >> it is very simple to explain. interest rates are a function not of one thing, credit worthiness, but of four. the u.s. credit worthiness has gone down. however, this has been more than compensated by three other things. when recession fears go up, interest rates go down. second, when the fed tells you
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it is not moving anywhere for two years, it collapses the whole interest rate structure. thirdly, people are scared. when they're scared, they sell risk assets, and they won into what is still the safest and most liquid market, treasuries. we have compensated for the decline in the aaa but done so for bad reasons. >> if there is another place to put that money? >> no, there isn't. people have been trying to go to the gold market. we talk in terms of concept of your cleanest dirty shirt. you want a business, it zets extended, can't get your shirt to the laundry and you have to wear something so you wear your cleanest, dirty shirt. while the aaa has been lost, the treasury market is still the
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cleanest, dirty shirt out there. >> it is this catch phrase, double dip, not good like a dupe dibble of ice cream is not a good thing. a lot of people put it at 1 in 4. where do you weigh in on that in. >> slightly above 1-4. the base case will not feel great either. the base case is this notion of stalled speed. think of a plane needing to go forward and suddenly cannot go forward fast enough. for people who are unemployed, want to send growth is not enough for housing market that is in bad. i hope you get stalled speed. if policymakers continue to dither, the problem ty of a session goes up. >> it keeps interest rates very, very low. >> it does. it makes people feel very
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unsettled. >> great conversation. thank you very much for helping interpret this force, the ceo of pimco. [ martin luther king jr. ] i still have a dream that one day on the red hills of georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. i have a dream today! [ male announcer ] chevrolet is honored to celebrate the unveiling of the washington, d.c., martin luther king jr. memorial. take your seat at the table on august 28th. handle more than 165 billion letters and packages a year. that's about 34 million pounds of mail every day. ever wonder what this costs you as a taxpayer? millions? tens of millions? hundreds of millions? not a single cent.
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raising taxes to deal with the debt. a vexing issue. whatever money america doesn't get from spending cuts, if the economy doesn't grow, has to come from increased revenue. president obama wants to see wealthy americans pay more in taxes. according to a cnn orc poll, 63% of americans agree with him. just 36% of americans would not want to see higher taxes on businesses and higher income americans as part of a deficit reduction bill. we hear it all the time. tax hikes for the rich. who are the rich? president obama says that people making $200,000 per year or more. hiking taxes on the wealthy would mean 3% of tax pay woerz wi payers would end up paying more
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taxes. here is the argument against that. those against it say rich people already pay enough in taxes. that 3% making $200,000 or mor pays more than 50% of the total income tax that the irs takes in. 3% of the population, 50% of the tax. those are the numbers. the debate continues. the question, the key question, would raising taxes hurt the economy and kill jobs or as others have argued, do we have to face the reality that taxes need to go up to reduce deficits and get the national debt under control? christina romer is the former chair of the president's council of economic advisers. back in 2007, before she joined the administration, while she was a professor the economics at berkeley, she quo wroco-wrote a. your research has been quoted to make the case for raising taxes to lower the deficit and against
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raising taxes because of the harmful effects on the xhob and jobs. i read the paper, it is rin for somebody smarter than me. tell me what you can about this once and for all. who is right? >> it is clearly a matter of timing. what our paper showed is tax changes, both up and down do have a powerful effect on the economy. if you raise taxes in the short run, it will lower output. that's one of the reasons why i would say, even though i very much support raising taxes to deal with the deficit gradually over time. now is not the time to do it. they're raising taxes or cutting spending now this and would be hard on the economy. that doesn't mean you can't legislate it to kick in which the economy is closer back to normal. >> the congressional super committee is charged with coming
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up with another $1.5 trillion in deficit reductions now. in a stagnant economy, do tax increases make more sense than government spending cuts if this group is forced with coming up with something before the end of the year? >> certainly the evidence is that tax increases tend to have less of a considerationry impact. if it is an either/or, you should, i think, tax increases are less contractry, especially tax increase on the wealthy. they're not one -- the wealthy ones are not ones that spend to spend pre much of the income which he get. the key thing is timing. so i would argue very strongly that we very much actually need more fiscal support now.
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we need probably a big tax cut now for firms that want to hire workers. but the way you make that fiscally responsible is to say over the next ten years, you're going to have to come up with another trillion or 2 trillion of deficit reduction. if you do it in that way that can get you what you need for the economy today and give people the confidence that you'll get your deficit under control over time. >> that rolls off your tongue so easily. sounds so simple the way you say it. let's say if you're saying we could raise taxes in some cases, on higher income earnings, irs just released new figures that show about 3% of people in 2009 claimed more than $200,000 in income. if you were to increase taxes on the highest earnings in this country, over what time frame and how would you suggest doing
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it? >> so i think the key thing is, you know, here is a place where there is a lot of agreement among economists. the best way to raise adult loopholes to cut back on tax expenditures in our tax code. use some of the revenue you would raise to reduce the deficit and take some of it and reduce people's marginal tax rates. that is both good for the deficit and good for intentives. if you lower the tax rates, it has an benefit. i think cutting tax expenditures is the best way to go. >> over the last few year, we haven't seen tax increases win haven't seen that stimulative effect or spending money. what is the tipping point here.
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what will it take to get to people to spend money? >> demand is absolutely essential. i think the whole idea and one of the thi of the things that came out of the paper i wrote was that tax cuts can be something that increases d s demand. the truth is, they have worked. study after study looking at the recovery act says, yes, it probably wasn't big enough, but it l absolutely did have a stimulative impact. if the problem is firms have lots of cash, they're nervous, something like a big tax cut if you hire an unemployed worker
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might tip them in behavior we want so much. >> i want to ask you about specifics. i want to get prescriptive about what congress can do to get america back on a growth track and get jobs created.
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plaque buildup... and if crestor is right for you. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. welcome back to "your money," continuing a conversation with christina romer, former chair of the president's council of economic advisers, joining me now from berkeley where she is a professor. christina, let me ask you about this. some fiscal conservatives have been making some outlandish claims recently about the so-called failure of the recovery act, the stimulus. rick santorum told me in an interhave you it cost jobs. you just finished telling me you thought it wasn't big enough. do we need another one? >> i think we absolutely do need some more fiscal help for the economy. and whether that is another sort of chunk of infrastructure
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spending, i think that would be fantastic. i talked a lot about a big tax break for businesses that hire workers. we need some help for the economy now. important thing to realize, we have two big problems, huge jobs problem and we have a deficit problem. and the way you solve both of those is a comprehensive fiscal package with more is a comprehensive package that has more stimulus in the short-term. and i would very much support a bold plan that is much more aggressive on both those dimensions that we're currently talking about in washington. >> but you did work at the house so you know that supporting a bold plan probably has about as much chance of working as i do of growing hair? >> you know, i think it's the right thing to be fighting for, it is the right economic policy and i actually think it's the right political strategy. i think the president needs to go into a bold solution to two
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big problems and if he makes that case and the american people hear it from him, they will know it's the right thing to do. i also think if you look another what's happening with the economy, we are clearly in some very severe economic conditions, and, you know, i think the dynamics in washington can change very quickly if this thing goes sour more quickly or worse than it currently is. >> we haven't seen that happen yet, but it could happen. you're right, obviously let's continue this threat here about what the president could do. obviously job growth is key to economic growth. we keep hearing calls from the administration or more broadly government to do more about jobs. what specifically can the president or congress do to foster the best environment to create jobs right now. >> certainly the president has talked about some good sort of structural things like getting the free trade agreement and
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he's talked about cutting back on regulation or re-evaluating all of our regulations and that's certainly a good, sort of structural thing to do. but we absolutely need to focus on the fact that we just don't have enough demand, consumers are not confident, businesses aren't investing, when you have less demand, the two options you have is aggressive monetary policy and aggressive fiscal policy. i think we ought to be firing on both those cylinders. i was encourage that the federal reserve showed sign that maybe they're starting to be more aggressive. i think that is important. but i think the president ought to be fighting very hard for a better comprehensive fiscal plan that actually has fiscal support for the economy now, a tax cut, some more infrastructure spending, he's talked about extending unemployment insurance, all of those things are good things, but they need to be big. they can't be, you know, a billion here, a billion there.
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>> you're absolutely right, i so agree with you on the extension of unemployment benefits, but at the end of 2010, president obama agreed to extend the bush era tax cuts in exchange for those unemployment benefits. mish mcc mitch mcconnell called that decision proof that even president obama agreed the tax increases a damaging to the economy. i mean, was renewing the bush tax cuts the wrong thing to do at the end of 2010 in exchange for getting extended unemployment benefits? >> i think extending the bush tax cuts for, you know, the 90% or 95% of american families that are below $250,000 i think that absolutely was good policy in terms of where the economy was, that it just simply, to have a big tax increase on average americans would have been very hard on demand. i do think that we didn't need
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to extend them for the very high income earners because i don't think they spend too much out of current income, so it wouldn't have had a big demand impact if we had extended those. that was clearly a political calculation, what did you have to do to get the other things that we needed, like extending unemployment insurance or another payroll tax cut for workers so that's where the president was coming down on that decision. >> christina romer, the former chairman of the president's council on economic advisors.
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imelt may be the poster boy for american business. in fact his presence is increasingly becoming a poke in the eye to the poor in this country. you have heard the reports that ge paid no federal correspondent taxes last year t company's tried to push back on that claim emphasizing that it did pay some federal taxes, but we know the company employs an army of tax lawyers designed to pay uncle sam as close to zero as possible. this is not immelt's problem. he's one of the -- between heading a company that pays little or no federal tax and being in the top 1 perce% of ea in the united states, he's a little out of touch with the issues facing most americans. in 2009, the top 20% of american earners raked in -- the debt signed into law won't change
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that equation one iota. it contains no extension of unemployment benefits, no closing of corporate loopholes, not one penny. given the rhetoric from the republican controlled anti-tax house of representatives, there's a fair chance that any further cuts will fall squarely on the backs of the most vulnerable. now, none of this is jeff immelt or ge's fault. they seem to pay the taxes that the law requires of them. but for an administration that claims to care about poverty and job creation, the presence of immelt and ge so close to the who is feels a little awkward, especially in an increasingly bifurcated america. it's time for a bold moves by the white house. having immelt as an advisor to the president on the issue of jobs doesn't feel right. corporate america has not played a key role in putting america back to work. the only thing ge has

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